GoFreight raises $28M to develop into the “Shopify of freight forwarding” • TechCrunch


Unicorn Flexport is revolutionizing the world of logistics, serving as a freight forwarder with software program that allows prospects to handle their shipments. However there are nonetheless 1000’s of smaller freight forwarders, many working on outdated ERP software program or spreadsheets. A startup known as GoFreight desires to assist them compete by offering the “Shopify of freight forwarding,” with backend software program that makes their operations run extra easily, and a frontend that lets them arrange a storefront and supply quotes in a couple of minutes.

The Los Angeles and Taipei-based startup has raised $23 million in Collection A funding, co-led by Flex Capital and Headline. The spherical included participation from LFX Enterprise Companions, Palm Drive Capital and returning buyers Mucker Capital, Cornerstone Ventures and Pink Constructing Capital.

GoFreight, which at present has about 1,000 prospects, helps handle transportation of products by ocean, air and land routes. It additionally lets them arrange on-line storefronts with just a few clicks. Potential prospects can hook up with freight forwarders by sending them an inquiry by storefront and getting a citation inside a couple of minutes, as an alternative of the 24 to 48 hours normally essential.

As soon as a freight forwarding job is underway, shipments could be tracked with an EDI-integrated, real-time device, so freight forwarders and prospects know precisely the place their cargo containers are. Monitoring software program additionally integrates with accounting instruments on GoFreight’s platform, so customers understand how the efficiency of shipments is impacting their earnings.

Co-founder and CEO Trenton Chen earned his Masters and PhD in the USA earlier than returning to Taiwan to affix TSMC. At the moment, AppWorks and different startup applications have been getting a whole lot of consideration, and Chen determined he needed to develop into an entrepreneur. He left TSMC (“it was a tricky determination, as a result of nobody agreed with that,” he informed TechCrunch), and gave himself six months to discover a viable thought. Throughout that point, one in all his co-founders was dwelling in Los Angeles, working as an importer for a household enterprise.

“After I was within the States, I knew lots of people on this business as effectively. So lots of our good associates requested us to go there and see how dangerous the software program is. So within the final month of my six month interval, I made a decision to offer it a chance, purchased a ticket for 3 months to go to LA and spend time with the primary 10 freight forwarders, studying how they do enterprise with software program. We based GoFreight after the primary week we have been there,” Chen mentioned.

Regardless that Chen says the worldwide freight forwarding market is value about $280 billion {dollars}, virtually all of the software program it runs on is outdated. GoFreight’s purpose is to empower conventional freight forwarders to remain aggressive with the identical high quality of know-how that Flexport has.

“A freight forwarding enterprise is about find out how to ship cargo from level A to level B. Software program can actually assist, however that’s not their important enterprise. The service itself is the principle enterprise and software program can’t assist reduce the transport prices or get it there sooner. However it could definitely assist present further priceless data to prospects, importers and exporters,” Chen mentioned, including, “We attempt to empower incumbents to compete with Flexport. That’s an method to make this whole business higher and sooner.”

Chen says GoFreight differentiates from different freight forwarding software program startups as a result of most of them are attempting to create new ERP system, or combine with current ones. That is difficult to do as a result of many freight forwarders use ERP programs which are outdated, and it’s a fragmented market. Some don’t even use ERP programs; as an alternative, they work off of spreadsheets or pen-and-paper programs.

On the backend, GoFreight’s software program has gross sales, working and accounting instruments, so when prospects have an inquiry, freight forwarders can enter it into their system after which come again with a citation. As soon as a job is confirmed, GoFreight manages bookings, real-time shipments and any essential digital filings. They will additionally generate and ship invoices by GoFreight.

“Very importantly, we’re making an attempt to develop into the Shopify of the area, so in one-click they will open a web based retailer, and their importers can use the net internet portal to ship an inquiry and it simply pops up within the system, routinely with pricing and so they can e-book their tickets on-line,” mentioned Chen. “So the entrance finish utility is so necessary and we offer visibility options as effectively.”

A significant problem that GoFreight desires to unravel is the method of producing quotes, which may take a pair days since freight forwarding orders are complicated. For instance, if a buyer desires to ship three containers from Shanghai to Los Angeles, freight forwarders must test with abroad brokers who’re additionally freight forwarders. In addition they want to rearrange trucking and warehouses. One other factor to think about is spot charges versus contract charges, since spot charges could be a lot decrease.

Most of this work is finished by emails, cellphone calls and textual content messages, however a centralized customer-facing app means freight forwarders can full your complete course of, together with checking with abroad brokers, by GoFreight’s integrations, which Chen says reduces the method from two days to about 10 or 20 seconds. GoFreight is at present working with companions to construct a community that connects prospects with freight forwarders, and freight forwarders with carriers.

GoFreight additionally supplies a digital fee resolution, since most funds have been executed by paper checks. This implies freight forwarders can subject a hyperlink to prospects, and as soon as they click on on that they’re taken to GoFreight’s web site, the place they will determine what invoices to pay with bank cards or financial institution accounts. Then that data goes again into GoFreight’s ERP system.

Analytics supplied by GoFreight may also help freight forwarders make more cash, Chen mentioned. For instance, in the event that they e-book a 40-foot container, GoFreight will file how a lot they paid for it and the way a lot prospects have been charged. The system analyzes efficiency for high prospects and abroad brokers, uncovering hidden charges so freight forwarders have a greater understanding of the actual price of a cargo. It additionally breaks down prices per SKU, so freight forwarders and their prospects know precisely how a lot it price to ship an merchandise.

The brand new funding will probably be used to develop extra options like sensible quotations, charge administration and buy order administration.

In a press release in regards to the funding, Headline companion Tom Gieselmann mentioned, “GoFreight’s all-in-one software program supplies larger transparency to freight motion, permitting freight forwarders to raised handle their enterprise, which may vary wherever from 0-1500+ customers, end-to-end. This versatility makes the product extremely impactful, and a giant cause behind why we’ve recognized them as some of the promising logistics tech firms in the marketplace.”



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